Man Without Qualities

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Strange Doings At The Poles And 43d Street

Steven Milloy locates more junk science (this time with a new twist) at the New York Times:

If you look at the temperature trends for the Arctic region since 1880, it appears that the Arctic generally warmed somewhat until about 1938. From 1938 until about 1966, the Arctic cooled to about its 1918 temperature level. Then, between 1966 and 2003, the Arctic warmed up to just shy of its 1938 temperature. But in 2004, the Arctic temperature again spiked downward.

Now if the 1880-1938 warming trend had continued up until this day, there certainly would be some significant warming in the Arctic region to talk about. From 1918 to 1938, alone, the Arctic warmed by 2.5 degrees Centigrade. But the actual temperature trend is much different, showing that there’s been hardly any overall temperature change in the Arctic since 1938. ....

And even when the Arctic re-warmed between 1966 and 2003, the warming occurred much less aggressively (about 50 percent less) than the 1918-1938 warming and at about the same rate as the period 1880-1938, despite much higher greenhouse gas levels in the 1966-2003 time frame. ...

Over the last 30 years, atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide increased by about 15 percent, from about 328 parts per million to about 372 parts per million. But the Antarctic temperature trend for that period indicates a slight cooling. This observation contrasts sharply with the relatively steep Antarctic warming observed from 1949 to 1974, which was accompanied by a much more modest increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.

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